Psycho Review

Number 39 on the top 1000 films of all time is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 ‘Psycho.’

After Marion Crane embezzles money from her employer and goes on the run, she is caught in a rainstorm and finds herself at a motel ran by Norman Bates.  A man with serious mummy issues.

This film works very well as a psychological, slasher horror.  It is very scary.  Hitchcock does very well building the tension and the atmosphere.  The suspense builds up slowly and steadily and nothing is too rushed.  I also really liked how, unlike Rear Window, the suspense actually built up to something.  There were three very good payouts: Marion and Arbogast’s deaths and the reveal of Norman’s mother at the end.  All three of these moments were very scary and were suitably climatic.

Anthony Perkins was also great as Norman Bates.  He played the role well and made Bates seem like a very creepy individual.  Even when Bates was first introducted to the viewer, something seemed a little off about him, despite how polite and well-mannered he seeemd to be.  This was down to Anthony Perkins’ subtle portrayl of the character.  As Marion’s shower death scene is one of the most famous moments in film, I, unfortunately, didn’t find it very scary, as I knew it was going to happen.  However, Arbogast’s death scene came as a complete shock to me. 

Even though, I knew it was going to happen, I was surprised at how early Marion died.  Before I saw this film, I didn’t know that Marion was the protagonist, so therefore, I didn’t expect her to die as early as she did.  However, I do like how Hitchcock did this, as it made the film interesting and it went in a different direction to what I expected.  I liked how the film kept me guessing like this.  

As I previously said, this film wasn’t as scary as it could have been, as I already knew about Marion’s death scene: what’s supposed to be the most shocking and scariest moment of the film.  Furthermore, even though the reveal of Norma Bates’ decaying corpse was certainly gruesome, I did see it coming, when she initially appeared with her back to the audience.  This was another reason why the film, for me, wasn’t as scary as it could have been.

This was a very intense and enjoyable film.  It had a great atmosphere and suspense with good payouts.  If only I didn’t already know about the film’s most famous scene, then Psycho would have been complete.

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